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Burkett must battle from behind today.

Byline: Carl Setterlund

COLUMN: LITTLE LEAGUE STATE SOFTBALL

WORCESTER - In quest of a long-awaited Little League state title the Lynn-Wyoma girls' softball team jumped out to a 1-0 lead in a best-of-three matchup by defeating host Jesse Burkett, 5-1, at Rockwood Field yesterday.

"We've tried and tried to build our softball program and for us to be at this point, one game away from the state championship, is a proud accomplishment for Wyoma and the city of Lynn itself," manager Paul DeJoie said.

Wyoma received shutdown pitching from Katie Cuozzo, who threw a complete game, allowing one run and six hits while striking out eight.

Eleven-year-old Julie Marshall, daughter of Burkett manager Jim Marshall, opposed Cuozzo, striking out four while giving up two earned runs on four hits.

Courtney Fluet tripled leading off the bottom of the first, the only extra-base hit of the game, but Burkett couldn't score.

"Courtney Fluet has been an all-star for three years now," manager Jim Marshall said. "She's kind of the leader, she's been there before. She won a state championship last year so she's the experienced one."

Disaster struck for Burkett in the second, when it allowed five runs on two hits and five errors.

"We had a meltdown inning," Marshall said. "Often in our tournament run, we've had an inning where it just seems nobody can catch the ball and they don't throw it where they should. You play a top-notch team and they take advantage of a meltdown inning."

Wyoma first baseman Olivia DeJoie, daughter of the manager, led off the second with a single to centerfield.

After a passed ball, three errors, an RBI single from catcher Victoria Vigor (2 for 3), another passed ball, and then two more errors, Wyoma found itself with the 5-0 advantage.

Burkett couldn't score until the fourth inning when a ground-out by Molly O'Neil scored shortstop Megan D'Elia.

Julie Marshall and right fielder Courtney Vail each had two singles for Burkett.

Heading into today's 3 p.m. game at Rockwood, Lynn-Wyoma coach Paul DeJoie feels confident.

Yet Jesse Burkett, the state champion in 2004 and 2006, isn't ready to count itself out.

"It's Little League, anything can happen," Marshall said. "If we bounce back and win (today), then it's for all the marbles on Sunday."

"All you have to do is to look at all the banners out there to know that Jesse Burkett is a good team," DeJoie said.
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jul 21, 2007
Words:406
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